This of course has me going over Luke and Elsa as far as silhouettes. They are both very lean; Elsa is the picture of an athlete in peak condition. The muscles in her legs ripple and she moves with ease; not carrying around any extra weight. Luke is skinny, extremely skinny and if he was a young dog with strong legs I would be working to get weight on him. But, he is not a young dog; he is fourteen years old on very shaky legs so carrying even five more pounds around would be a difficult challenge for him. For Luke's condition, skinny is good.
Most dogs I see out in the parks, fields, beaches and streets of downtown are overweight. They are not hugely overweight but carry a few extra pounds. A few pounds on a dog is much different than on us. The ratio of what they should weigh, together with their size makes just a pound or two a big difference. I have seen dogs that look overweight with just two extra pounds. My little Jack Russell who is now gone could go from pudgy to lean and mean in the matter of a week. But much like us, some dogs lose easily while others have more of a struggle to lose.
All dogs should have a waste; that indent where the ribs end. Of course there will be a difference in breeds and mixes who are beefier types but they should all have a waste indent. Food and movement is at the root of it all. Sadly much of the food that comes in a bag is a big part of the problem. Instead of a protein based diet which helps to build muscle; much of it is carb filled wasted calories. Our dog's bodies are craving protein and getting little. The other day when I was at the Veterinarians; a woman was at the counter beside me buying "diet" food for her dog. I shudder thinking of what might be in the food that she was purchasing. We are feeding our dogs the wrong thing and expecting great results. "Diet" foods are not the way to go for our dogs or us.
Lack of muscle is something else I see a great deal of. More weight and few muscles make moving more difficult than it needs to be. Exercise is the only way to grow muscle. But even then our dogs need a great deal of protein to fuel those muscles. Have a look at your dog, is there an indent? Do they leg muscles bulge where they should bulge? If not then it is time to cut back on food and get moving with your dog. We owe our dogs at least that.